Friday, August 14, 2009

DaringCooks August - Spanish rice

This time around at Daring Cooks Olga from Olga's Recipes chose a delicious Spanish recipe, Rice with mushrooms, potatoes(instead of fish) and artichokes by José Andrés, one of the most important Spanish Chefs at the moment...

Rice with mushrooms, potatoes and artichokes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • 1 Chopping Board
  • 1 knife
  • 1 medium saucepan
  • 1 Paella pan (30 cm/11" is enough for 4 people. If not available, you may use a simple pan that size)
  • 1 Saucepan

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 4 Artichokes (you can use jarred or freezed if fresh are not available)
  • 12 Mushrooms (button or Portobello)
  • 1 or 2 Bay leaves (optional but highly recommended)
  • 1 glass of white wine
  • 2 big potatoes
  • "Sofregit" (see recipe below)
  • 300 gr (2 cups) Short grain rice (Spanish types Calasparra or Montsant are preferred, but you can choose any other short grain. This kind of rice absorbs flavor very well) – about 75 gr per person ( ½ cup per person) .I used Arborio rice since I couldn't find any other type.
  • Water (use 1 ½ cup of liquid per ½ cup of rice)
  • Saffron threads (if you can't find it or afford to buy it, you can substitute it for turmeric or yellow coloring powder)
  • Allioli (olive oil and garlic sauce, similar to mayonnaise sauce) - optional


  1. Cut the potatoes in little strips.
  2. Add 1 or 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and put the potatoes in the pan.
  3. Cut artichokes in eights.
  4. Clean the mushrooms and cut them in fourths.
  5. Add a bay leaf to the cuttlefish and add also the artichokes and the mushrooms.
  6. Sauté until we get a golden color in the artichokes.
  7. Put a touch of white wine so all the solids in the bottom of the get mixed, getting a more flavorful dish.
  8. Add a couple or three tablespoons of sofregit and mix to make sure everything gets impregnated with the sofregit.
  9. Add all the liquid and bring it to boil.
  10. Add all the rice. Let boil for about 5 minutes in heavy heat.
  11. Add some saffron thread to enrich the dish with its flavor and color. Stir a little bit so the rice and the other ingredients get the entire flavor. If you're using turmeric or yellow coloring, use only 1/4 teaspoon.
  12. Turn to low heat and boil for another 8 minutes (or until rice is a little softer than "al dente")
  13. Put the pan away from heat and let the rice stand a couple of minutes.
Sofregit (a well cooked and fragrant sauce made of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and onions, and may at times
different vegetables such as peppers or mushrooms)-

Cooking time: aprox. 1 hour

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 5 big red ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup of button or Portobello mushrooms, chopped (optional)
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Touch of ground cumin
  • Touch of dried oregano


  1. Put all the ingredients together in a frying pan and sauté slowly until all vegetables are soft.
  2. Taste and salt if necessary (maybe it's not!)

Allioli is the optional part of the recipe. You must choose one of the two recipes given, even though I highly recommend you to try traditional one. Allioli is served together with the rice and it gives a very nice taste

Allioli (Traditional recipe)
Cooking time: 20 min aprox.

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • Pinch of salt
  • Fresh lemon juice (some drops)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (Spanish preferred but not essential)


  1. Place the garlic in a mortar along with the salt.
  2. Using a pestle, smash the garlic cloves to a smooth paste. (The salt stops the garlic from slipping at the bottom of the mortar as you pound it down.)
  3. Add the lemon juice to the garlic.
  4. Drop by drop; pour the olive oil into the mortar slowly as you continue to crush the paste with your pestle.
  5. Keep turning your pestle in a slow, continuous circular motion in the mortar. The drip needs to be slow and steady. Make sure the paste soaks up the olive oil as you go.
  6. Keep adding the oil, drop by drop, until you have the consistency of a very thick mayonnaise. If your allioli gets too dense, add water to thin it out. This takes time—around 20 minutes of slow motion around the mortar—to create a dense, rich sauce.

José's tips for traditional recipe: It's hard to think that, when you start crushing the garlic, it will ever turn into something as dense and smooth as allioli. But don't give up. It's worth the extra time and effort to see the oil and garlic come together before your eyes. Just make sure you're adding the olive oil slowly, drop by drop. Keep moving the pestle around the mortar in a circular motion and keep dreaming of the thick, creamy sauce at the end of it all.

Olga's Tips:
(1) In Spain, rice is not stired as often as it is when cooking Italian risotto. You must stir it once or twice maximum. This tip is valid for all Spanish rice dishes like paella, arròs negre, arròs a banda…
(2) When cooking the alternative style you can change the cuttlefish or squid for diced potato - which I did.
(3) If you can't find cuttlefish or squid, or you're not able to eat them because of allergies, you can try to substitute them for chicken or vegetables at your choice.
(4) Sofregit can be done in advance. You can keep it in the fridge or even freeze it.
(5) To watch how Jose Andres cooks this dish click

I dont think it came out as it was supposed to , mainly because of the rice...also , it lacked spice and was quite bland..I had to add lot of pepper to give it a taste..the allioli did add some much-needed zing on it !


  1. I see you did a vegetarian version ;) Yes, the allioli is a must in my opinion - it adds a zing and it was a great addition t othis dish. Your looks very delicious :)

  2. LOVE your meatless take on this dish..I mean, who doesn't love potatoes?? Starches are yummy! Beautifully done!

  3. Good job on this challenge. I am curious now to try it with potatoes- sounds delish.

  4. You did a vegan version how nice I hoped you loved it with the allioli. Cheers from Audax in Australia. Lovely pixs also

  5. Here is a recipe for Daisy Martinez' sofrito. This will wake up your dishes. Your's doesn't look half bad though.


    This is the one indispensable, universal, un-live-withoutable recipe. Having said that, it is incredibly easy to make with ingredients you can find at the supermarket. And if you can’t find all the ingredients I list below see the note that follows for a very simple fix. What sofrito does is add freshness, herbal notes and zing to dishes—you can do that with the onion, garlic, bell pepper, cilantro and tomato alone.

    In my house, sofrito makes its way into everything from yellow rice, black bean soup, sauce for spaghetti and meatballs to braised chicken and sautéed shrimp. Not only that, it freezes beautifully, so in about In 10 minutes you can make enough sofrito to flavor a dozen dishes. I’m telling you, this stuff does everything but make the beds. Try out your first batch of sofrtio in the recipes you’ll find throughout this book, or add sofrito to some of your own favorite dishes that could use a little boost. You will change the way you cook. I guarantee it.

    2 medium Spanish onions, cut into large chunks
    3 to 4 Italian frying peppers or cubanelle peppers
    16 to 20 cloves garlic, peeled
    1 large bunch cilantro, washed
    7 to 10 ajices dulces (see note below), optional
    4 leaves of culantro (see note below), or another handful cilantro
    3 to 4 ripe plum tomatoes, cored and cut into chunks
    1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into large chunks

    Makes about 4 cups

    Chop the onion and cubanelle or Italian peppers in the work bowl of a food processor until coarsely chopped. With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients one at a time and process until smooth. The sofrito will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It also freezes beautifully.

    If you can’t find ajices dulces or culantro, don’t sweat. Up the amount of cilantro to 1 ½ bunches

  6. Yum!! Your dish looks amazing =D. I love the idea of using potatoes! Wonderful job with this challenge!

  7. Your spanish rice look delicious - I loved the idea of using potatoes!
    I did a vegetarian version too, with red lentils.